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Statistical Brief: Phoneless in America

Report Number SB/94-16

You could have picked up a phone and called almost every American household in 1990, but not all of them.

That’s because there were nearly 5 million households (5 percent) without a telephone. Though the number and proportion seem fairly high, they were much higher only a few decades ago. As recently as 1960, for instance, more than 11 million households – just over 1 in 5 – were phoneless. This Brief uses data collected by the 1990 Census of Population and Housing to show which types of households were most likely to still be phoneless.


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